8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 23, 2009 2:45 AM by nealeh

    Converting 8 mm film and VCR tapes to PRE

    johndurse

      I just purchased ION VCR 2 PC and have not opened the box (so I can return it).  Are there any issues when converting old VCR tapes to PRE?  What type of file formats should I be looking for?  I have two PCs one with Vista and the other with Windows 7.  I'm a novice with PRE.  The main purpose for the VCR tape conversion is, I had a local company years ago transfer our families super 8 mm film to a VCR tape.  The quality was poor (Dark).  I later visited the little shop and happen to notice the process they used for conversion (a closet, a 8 mm projector, and a kinda white sheet).

       

      Would I be better off returning the ION box, or using a clean white sheet with my 8 mm projector that works (that I hope I can get a bulb on Ebay), and a hardly used Canon GL1, or send my old 8 mm film to a professional shop that will do a better job of conversion?

       

      Thanks

        • 1. Re: Converting 8 mm film and VCR tapes to PRE
          Kodebuster Level 3

          I did a Google search on this box which turned up a bunch of links and reviews.

           

          Half said it was okay, the other labeled it a qualified horror show.

           

          After 15 minutes of surfing, I still was not abled to determine the actual video format that it output to when moving video to your PC (other than it was in a digitized format and Standard Definition).

           

          I read some where that Aver Media EZ Video was the USB video capture interface utilized, which did not give me a good feeling.

           

          Back to your dark videos that are now residing on VHS formated tapes. This ION box will do absolutely nothing to improve on that quality, if anything it will be further degraded when converted via Aver Media to let's assume an Mpeg2 format.

           

          If the 8mm source moved to VHS resulted in poor quality, nothing going forward will help much.

           

          You may want to go back to your 8mm source and use a high quality transfer Service, that does frame analysis, rather than an old Projector and a white sheet.

           

          I found one Service that looked interesting, I'm sure there are others:

           

          http://www.videoconversionexperts.com/Film_to_DVD/Film_Super8.htm

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Converting 8 mm film and VCR tapes to PRE
            nealeh Level 5

            You want to maximise the quality you will ultimately use in PRE, essentially this means aim for 'DV AVI'. I use the Magix package "Rescue your Videotapes" that includes a Scart-to-USB analog to digital converter and 'Movies on DVD' software.. After the digital footage is in MoD I split the film into scenes and picture story them. I also do any radical colour correction in MoD as I find it easier to use than PRE. Once these basics are sorted MoD then has a nice feature (batch conversion) to export each scene as a separate DV AVI file. These are then ideally structured for further processing in PRE. The Ion VCR 2 PC is basically the same solution, except that it incorporates a VHS player whereas my solution requires an existing VCR.

             

            Which way to go though is a hard decision without knowing quite how dark the existing VHS tapes are - PRE can perform quite well in enhancing such footage. But if you have the originals, a projector and a good camcorder and a white sheet you can probably do a lot better then the 'pro shop'. And, if your camcorder can be accessed directly by PRE you cut out one analog to digital conversion process.

             

            One other thing to consider is what you expect to do with any existing commercial VCR tapes you have. If you want to transfer them to your PC you would be better of with the ION unit.

             

            Hope this gives you some useful info to think about. Let us know what path you eventually take.

             

            Cheers,
            --
            Neale
            Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Converting 8 mm film and VCR tapes to PRE
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              As has been stated, for the telecine work, you will be best served using a service that will do frame-by-frame telecine to miniDV tape. There are quite a few such production houses. Do not have the film copied to DVD.

               

              As for the VHS to digital, I strongly recommend that one look into the Grass Valley/Canopus ADVC-110, or 300 units. Though more expensive, the ADVC-300 offers Timebase correction, which can save hours of work with color, video noise and gamma correction.

               

              Good luck,

               

              Hunt

              • 4. Re: Converting 8 mm film and VCR tapes to PRE
                johndurse Level 1

                Thanks to everyone who responded.  I ordered "Rescue Your Videotapes" and will use high quality Super8 mm conversion services.

                 

                John

                • 5. Re: Converting 8 mm film and VCR tapes to PRE
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  John,

                   

                  Good luck, and please report on the services that stand out for you. While researching your question, I found that my main source was no longer in business!

                   

                  I have a pending Project, not unlike yours. If we both research current production houses, we might get a good list for others. I'll share my findings in this thread for posterity.

                   

                  Hunt

                  • 6. Re: Converting 8 mm film and VCR tapes to PRE
                    nealeh Level 5

                    johndurse wrote:

                     

                    I ordered "Rescue Your Videotapes" and will use high quality Super8 mm conversion services.

                     

                    Probably worthwhile running your existing videos through RYP, and then to PRE, to see if you find it acceptable. Your purchase will include Movies on DVD v8 (mine is v7 - anything sounding familiar in that ) and the Scart-USB connector.

                     

                    In Device Manager the connector shows under 'Sound, video and game controllers' as 'MAGIXUSB-Videowandler'. My older version came with an old driver so I looked for a newer one. I could not find one on any of Magixs' english language web sites but eventually found one, with installer, on the Magix german site. The version details are:

                     

                    • Provider:     Magix Technology
                    • Date:          27/08/2008
                    • Version:      5.8.306.827

                     

                    Hope this helps,

                     

                    Cheers,
                    --
                    Neale
                    Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

                    • 7. Re: Converting 8 mm film and VCR tapes to PRE
                      johndurse Level 1

                      Thanks Neale.  My software will be arriving on Wed.  Amazon had 50% off, maybe it's the older version of "RYV".  I have family to entertain for a couple of days.  Looking forward to working on this next week.  Thanks for your advice.

                       

                      John

                      • 8. Re: Converting 8 mm film and VCR tapes to PRE
                        nealeh Level 5

                        Similarly to PRE, Magix have user forums at http://www.magix.info. A couple of posts I made there may be of interest.

                         

                         

                        Cheers,
                        --
                        Neale
                        Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children